UF Florida Archaeology Parnell Mound Site (8CO326), Feature 1 Zooarchaeological Data
Parnell site, Feature 1, analyzed animal data. Data and specimens curated in Florida Archaeology, Florida Museum of Natural History.
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Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Wallis N (2020): UF Florida Archaeology Parnell Mound Site (8CO326), Feature 1 Zooarchaeological Data. v1.17. Florida Museum of Natural History, Florida Archaeology. Dataset/Occurrence. http://ipt.vertnet.org:8080/ipt/resource?r=flarch_zooarch_parnell_feature1&v=1.17
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Feature 1 within Parnell Site.
|Bounding Coordinates||South West [30.145, -82.793], North East [30.297, -82.617]|
All archaeological specimens identified to subphylum, class, order, genus, or species.
|Class||Mammalia, Actinopterygii, Bivalvia, Aves|
|Start Date / End Date||1160-01-01 / 1260-01-01|
Adapted From: Wallis, Neill J. (2012). Florida Museum of Natural History Suwannee Valley Field School: The Parnell Mound. In 2012 Field School Summaries, The Florida Anthropologist 65(4):246-248. The 2012 Florida Museum of Natural History Field School conducted survey and excavations at the Parnell Mound site (8CO326), a Suwannee Valley culture site near White Springs. The field school also recorded and investigated the Buck site (8CO1201), a small contemporaneous site located nearby. The project was directed by Neill Wallis and assisted by graduate students Rachel Iannelli and Micah Monés. The Suwannee Valley archaeological culture follows the McKeithen Weeden Island cultures of North Florida and dates to ca. A.D. 900 to 1500. Although Mississippi period components were known to exist as part of multi-component and mixed sites in the region following the survey efforts of Brenda Sigler-Lavelle and Ken Johnson during the 1970s and 1980s, few have been the focus of systematic excavations. Perhaps the lone exception is extensive work at the Fig Springs site led by Brent Weisman that enabled John Worth to refine the late period chronology and better characterize the Suwannee Valley culture. The Suwannee Valley culture is presumed to represent the ancestors of the Utina Timucua who occupied the region during the early colonial era, but there are curiously few archaeological correlates of the chiefdoms that the Spanish described. Preliminary investigations by FLMNH in 2011 identified Parnell as a relatively “pure” Suwannee Valley culture site, a rarity in the region. The goal of the 2012 field school was to define the habitation areas surrounding the mound and collect data to help further refine the Suwannee Valley chronology and describe village life. Students produced a topographic map of the site using a total station, delineated the distribution of artifacts through systematic shovel testing and test excavations, and discovered and excavated a very large pit feature 40 m north-northwest of the mound summit. The field school completed a total of 139 shovel tests and 32 square meters of test and block excavation. The sand mound at Parnell is situated on the edge of a terrace that overlooks a large pond and swamp. The mound is heavily deranged after illicit digging, some of it with heavy machinery, but its original dimensions are apparent, measuring 27 m across and between 2 and 3.5 m high above the natural ground surface from various vantage points along the terrace. Artifacts are distributed widely across a 200-m wide area around the mound, however, intensive shovel testing revealed three discrete clusters near the mound. One of these clusters corresponds with a large cultural feature discovered 40 m north-northwest of the mound summit. This feature, the only one recorded at the site, was a pit approximately 2.5 m by 3 m in diameter and extends half a meter below the former ground surface. The feature consisted of a dark black charcoal-filled stain covered by an organically enriched brown sand deposit filled with artifacts and fauna. The feature was also surrounded by a 2-m wide zone of very high artifact density. Within this massive feature and the immediately surrounding deposit were thousands of large deer bone fragments representing numerous individuals, along with myriad other fauna and aritfacts. Rather than uncovering the remains of daily village life, investigations at Parnell identified the location of a substantial feast, where food was prepared en masse, consumed, and soon after deposited and covered over. These are likely the remains of a major event for which people congregated from many surrounding residential sites, perhaps including the small “hamlet” recorded half a kilometer away at the Buck site. Fine screen and bulk samples taken from this feature will provide a treasure trove of information pertaining to diet, food preparation, cuisine, and feasting.
|Title||Florida Museum of Natural History 2012 Suwannee Archaeological Field School|
|Funding||The Florida Archaeology Professorship Endowment, Curator of Florida Archaeology|
|Study Area Description||The site consists of a single 3.5m high sand burial mound and immediately adjacent archaeological deposits that surround it. The total area of the site is less than two hectares. There are two temporal components, an early pre-mound component (represented by lithic debris) and a later component (represented by lithics and pottery). The later component includes Suwannee Valley series pottery and is contemporaneous with the mound.|
The personnel involved in the project:
All soil was excavated using either a trowel or shovel. All fauna was collected through 1/4-inch and 1/16-inch screen. Materials from non-feature sediment were dry screened through 1/4-inch mesh and feature fill was water screened through 1/16-inch mesh.
|Study Extent||14 square meter excavation block divided into eight 1x1m and three 1x2 squares; all excavated in 10 cm levels within natural strata.|
|Quality Control||All areas were excavated in controlled levels. Excavation and material recovery was recorded on official Level Forms and/or Feature Forms. All unit locations were mapped by total station, and all units were georeferenced. All excavation information and data are on file with the FLMNH Anthropology Division.|
Method step description:
- See above.
|Collection Name||Parnell Site (8CO326), Accession # 2012-018-, Florida Archaeology, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville|
|Collection Identifier||Florida Archaeology|
|Parent Collection Identifier||Florida Museum of Natural History|
- Wallis, N.J. and M.E. Blessing. 2015. Ritualized Deposition and Feasting Pits: Bundling of animals in Mississippi Period Florida. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 25(1):79-98. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0959774314000699
- Wallis, N.J. and M.E. Blessing. 2015. Big Feasts and Small Scale Foragers: Pit features as feast events in the American southeast. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39:1-18. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2015.01.003
Description of zooarchaeological analysis from Wallis and Blessing (2015:7): “Zooarchaeological analysis of the vertebrate fauna followed the guidelines described in Reitz and Wing (2008), and was facilitated through the Environmental Archaeology Program’s comparative collection housed at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Individual specimens were identified to the lowest taxonomic category possible, and noted for element, proportion, side, fusion, count, weight, burning, and other modifications. So as not to inflate the assemblage NISP, particularly for deer, attempts were made during analysis to cross-mend fresh breaks, counting articulating pieces as single specimens. Shaft fragments that were large enough to be identified as deer, but that lacked diagnostic features such as muscular attachments or nutrient foramen were combined into the category ‘‘unidentified long bone.’’ Other bones that could not be confidently identified beyond Mammalia were sorted into small, medium, and large mammals where possible. These groupings were based on the elements represented, the degree of fragmentation, and their overall size and thickness. Many of the fragments were too small, however, to assign to a more specific mammal category and therefore were not identified beyond Mammalia.” Wallis, N.J., and M.E. Blessing (2015). Big feasts and small scale foragers: Pit features as feast events in the American southeast. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 39:1-18.
|Purpose||Description of the zooarchaeological analysis of specimen records from the Parnell site.|